• British Grand Prix

Furious Raikkonen laments strategy error

ESPN Staff
June 30, 2013 « FIA calls meeting over tyre blow outs | Whitmarsh calls for quick response to tyre issues »
Kimi Raikkonen lost out to Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in the closing laps © Sutton Images
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Kimi Raikkonen was left furious at Lotus after the team decided not to pit him under the safety car late in the British Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel's retirement brought out the safety car with 11 laps to go with Raikkonen sitting in second place behind race leader Nico Rosberg. Behind him, Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso both took the opportunity to pit behind the safety car and although both lost track position the fresh tyres allowed them to climb back through the field to second and third respectively.

Raikkonen was eventually relegated to fifth place and after the race he made clear his anger at the team for getting the strategy wrong.

"I don't understand how we can get it so wrong," Raikkonen said. "I asked the team, they said no and we had more than half a lap to make the right call. I think we gave up second place today and I think it's pretty simple. We had an easy P2 … it was absolutely the wrong call. It's disappointing but not my fault this time."

Looking at the race as a whole, Raikkonen did defend Pirelli for the tyre failures that four drivers suffered.

"That's a part of the game, it's probably something like a sharp edge on a kerb or something and it doesn't matter which kind of tyres you have when you have that kind of thing on a circuit it will break. You cannot just blame Pirelli for it, I think there's just some corner some place with a sharp edge or something that is cutting the tyres."

Team principal Eric Boullier explained that Lotus didn't expect the drivers who pit under the final safety car to get such a performance advantage.

"It's very easy after the race to look at it if you look at the three cars on a two pit-stop strategy which were [Adrian] Sutil, [Daniel] Ricciardo and us. We considered the pit stop, to be honest we were not expecting such a big gain in performance by switching to fresh tyres and that's it, end of story. [Fernando] Alonso was lucky to pit before and [Mark] Webber had to stop anyway so yes we should have stopped, no question."